This is a variation of a traditional Scottish recipe, and may date from the time of the “Auld alliance” with the French, as it is so similar to the French “clafoutis” . It is a really useful recipe as it can be made with many different fruits such as :- Blackcurrants, Jostaberries, Gooseberries, Cherries, Plums, Rhubarb and Ginger. If you have frozen some of your own fruit whole, just defrost and use as fresh. I particularly like the contrast between the sharpness of the fruit and the sweetness of the thickened custard. If you like it very sweet, you can always add more sugar.
It is virtually fat free if you use skimmed milk.
You will need about 20 cm flame proof dish, 2/3 filled with any of the above fruits which have been washed, topped and tailed, or stoned as necessary. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.
The demonstration method photos are of rhubarb and ginger (1/2 tsp or to taste) batter pudding with optional sweet cicely.
In addition for the batter, you will need some 500 ml of hot milk, 2 beaten eggs, 3table spoons of plain flour or sauce flour for soft batter or 4 tbsp for a thick batter, and 3 tbsp of sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and a grating of nutmeg.
Mix together in a small pan, 3 or 4 table spoons of sauce or plain flour, into a paste with some cold milk. Add the 500 ml hot milk while stirring, then the 3 tbs sugar and the 2 beaten eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a generous grating of nutmeg, and gently heat while stirring all the time until the sauce starts to thicken. Pour over the fruit, making sure that the surface of the pudding is at least 1 cm below the rim of the dish, to allow for the expansion of the pudding while cooking. Microwave at “warm” setting, or bake in the oven at 180 C, for 20-30 minutes, or until set. For a special meal, after baking, dust the top with icing sugar and grill or blowtorch until the icing sugar caramelises.
Quick Microwave method.
Fill the 20 cm microwave type dish 2/3 full with your prepared fruit and microwave at full power until the fruit has softened and is cooked. Stop and stir the contents every 2 minutes for even cooking. Add sugar or artificial sweetener to taste. Set aside.
In a microwave type jug, combine the 3 or 4 tablespoons of sauce flour with a little milk until smooth. Add the two eggs and the 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat again with a fork. Make up the total volume of liquid to 600 ml by adding milk and beat again. Microwave on full power for a total of about 6 minutes, but stopping and beating the liquid with a fork every one or two minutes, until the custard batter has thickened and cooked.
Either serve the cooked fruit and the batter custard separately, or pour the batter custard onto the cooked fruit for a set batter pudding, and heat through with the Microwave set at simmer or warm setting.
You can replace the sugar with artificial sweetener, for a very low calorie pudding.
Sauce flour is a very finely milled flour, “00” grade, that makes a smoother batter, and can be obtained at larger Sainsburys.
Leftovers can be frozen or put in the fridge and reheated in the microwave till hot right through.